Arch Linux - Install and setup KVM/QEMU

Checking support for KVM

Hardware support

Checking hardware support for KVM (named VT-x for Intel and AMD-V for AMD CPUs):

LC_ALL=C lscpu | grep Virtualization


grep -E --color=auto 'vmx|svm|0xc0f' /proc/cpuinfo

If nothing is displayed after running either command, then your processor does not support hardware virtualization, and you will not be able to use KVM.

Note: You may need to enable virtualization support in your BIOS. All x86_64 processors manufactured by AMD and Intel in the last 10 years support virtualization. If it looks like your processor does not support virtualization, it’s almost certainly turned off in the BIOS.

Kernel support

Check if the necessary modules: kvm and either kvm_amd or kvm_intel, are available in the kernel:

zgrep CONFIG_KVM /proc/config.gz

You must see the module set either to y or m.

Then ensure that kernel modules are automatically loaded at boot:

lsmod | grep kvm

Output example:

kvm_intel             245760  0
kvmgt                  28672  0
mdev                   20480  2 kvmgt,vfio_mdev
vfio                   32768  3 kvmgt,vfio_mdev,vfio_iommu_type1
kvm                   737280  2 kvmgt,kvm_intel
irqbypass              16384  1 kvm

If the command returns nothing, the module needs to be loaded manually, see: Kernel module handling

Note: If modprobing kvm_intel or kvm_amd fails but modprobing kvm succeeds, and lscpu claims that hardware acceleration is supported, check the BIOS settings. Some vendors, especially laptop vendors, disable these processor extensions by default. To determine whether there is no hardware support or whether the extensions are disabled in BIOS, the output from dmesg after having failed to modprobe will tell.

Para-virtualization with Virtio

Kernel Support

Check if the VIRTIO modules are available in the kernel inside the virtual machine:

zgrep VIRTIO /proc/config.gz

Then, check if kernel modules are automatically loaded at boot:

lsmod | grep virtio

Also here, if the above commands return nothing, you need to load the kernel modules manually.

Install qemu, libvirt, virt-manager and other packages needed

sudo pacman -S libvirt qemu virt-manager ebtables dnsmasq bridge-utils

For complete information about packages and other utilities and settings see:



libvirt clients

Set user Group

Add user to libvirt Group:

sudo usermod -aG libvirt <username>

Systemctl Service libvirtd

Start the libvirtd.service service:

sudo systemctl start libvirtd.service

Enable libvirt.service service at boot:

sudo systemctl enable libvirtd.service

Start virt-manager:


See: Virtual Machine Manager

by Brainfuck

Source: KVM - ArchWiki